2022 workplace predictions
20 January 2022 at 4:01 pm
We take a look into the priorities of workplaces in the year ahead
In 2020, the world of work as we knew it was severely disrupted.
The arrival of the pandemic saw office workers move into working from home arrangements, becoming reliant on virtual platforms to run meetings, host events and connect with our managers and colleagues.
But with the pandemic still far from finished, the constant disruptions many of us experienced in 2021 might be here to stay. So where does that leave the world of work in 2022?
We sat down with Ian Worthy, the regional principal of strategy and design at workplace design experts, Unispace, to find out some of the trends and predictions of the year ahead.
Hybrid work will become the norm
Gone are the days of having a separate office and home setting. If the last couple of years have shown us anything, it’s that most office jobs can be done from anywhere you can plug in your laptop. And with lockdowns (hopefully) a thing of the past, this means you can get creative with your workspaces.
“The office can now be in a home, workplace, café and/or a co-working space,” Worthy said.
He said there’s been a move towards providing a “third setting” option for employees – an additional space away from the corporate office where employees can work alongside other like-minded people.
“Businesses are also looking at providing these third spaces to employees in more central locations, or for those who have to travel long distances,” he said.
“There’s a greater push to embrace this diversity from a corporate point of view in terms of what workplaces look like and the configuration of workspaces.”
Employee wellbeing moves front and centre
A focus on workplace wellbeing will be important if they want to entice workers back into the office and keep them on board.
“With people having worked at home for the past few years, they have had control over their environment and have had the opportunity to easily take time away from work as needed,” he said.
“We are seeing organisations implementing not only wellness spaces, but dedicated spaces to rest and recharge, allowing people to take time out.”
An emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion
Now we’re not saying that workplaces haven’t been aware of diversity, equity and inclusion prior to 2022, but Worthy believes that this is the year where change might really start to take place.
“In addition to workplace wellbeing we are seeing organisations embrace a more diverse culture,” he said.
“As well as having a spotlight on this in recruitment processes, it will also be key for organisations to have this shine through internally, promoting a positive and inclusive experience for all team members.”
Thinking of experimenting? This is the year to do it.
With everything we know about workplaces and work being flipped upside down, organisations are starting to think a little harder about the atmosphere they are creating in their workplace.
“We are seeing a greater emphasis on the experience of being at work, and getting people excited about coming back to work in a space that immerses you in the brand
values, culture and experience, whilst encouraging employees to work together effectively,” he said.
“Unispace expects to see more organisations looking to implement collaborative spaces and experiential elements into their workplace designs to engage people back into a working environment.”